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Wembley contractors blame steel designers for delays


LACK OF coordination between the three structural engineering consultants working on Wembley Stadium delayed steelwork fabrication, warring contractors Multiplex and Cleveland Bridge (CBUK) admitted in the High Court last week.

The cause of delays is one of the few points on which the two companies have agreed so far in the four-week trial, which started last Tuesday in the Technology & Construction Court.

The case centres on each company's belief that the other fundamentally breached the terms of the £60M steelwork contract.

Main contractor Multiplex claims steelwork subcontractor CBUK breached the contract by walking off the site in August 2004.

CBUK claims Multiplex was first to breach the contract in July 2004 by putting the 'Armageddon Plan' into action (News last week).

It is claimed Multiplex sought to cripple CBUK financially by refusing to pay for extra work said to have arisen from delays in the steelwork design.

CBUK told the court last week that delays in the steelwork design by designers Mott Stadium Consortium (MSC) - Mott Macdonald, Connell Wagner and SKM - caused fabrication delays.

CBUK's barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC said although the ed price steelwork contract was signed on 26 September 2002, the whole structure had to be re-analysed over three weeks in November 2003.

Tomlinson said this was because forces at the interface of the arch, perimeter prismatic truss (PPT), roof and bowl steelwork did not marry up.

During the reanalysis, time, steelwork fabrication was put on hold and nal design drawings were not received until December 2003.

CBUK believed that this warranted a 50.5 week extension of time while Multiplex maintained that delays would only have amounted to three weeks.

Multiplex project director Ashley Muldoon told the court that MSC's drawings could have been used to 'develop' fabrication drawings even though they were not released as 'as for construction'.

'But if the drawings say they can't be used for fabrication purposes, it'd be wholly wrong for them [CBUK] to fabricate from them, ' said Tomlinson.

'Your attitude throughout has been to blame CBUK and pay no attention to the problems caused by Motts', he stated.

The trial continues.

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